Build a commune and string up barbed wire? Hmmm, I admit there are days when it sounds tempting, but of course is the wrong answer. With atheism, homosexuality, and other agendas on the advance, what’s a Christian to do? Simply put…live in the moments given to us, because good or bad, this is our time. The iconic leaders of the older generation will soon be gone and as the mantle is passed, we must move forward.
I sometimes think about the early Church and what they talked about with such depravity around them. I’m sure there was discouragement and worry. Of course Paul, John, and Peter wrote them encouraging letters and are often my “go-to” place, but there is also another diamond placed at the front of the Psalms that gives great clarity looking ahead. Take a look:
“1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” –Psalms 1:1-6 NKJV
It should be the same for us too, drawing strength and confidence in the fact that God knows us. Through Jesus, we’ve been made one of the righteous. Here are three ways this Psalm helps me:
- To Find Joy in His Word – Our delight should be in His Word (v.2). To the Believer, “the Law” represents Christ’s work on the cross satisfying God’s requirements and the grace He’s shown. Prayerfully pondering the depths of His Word should be part of my life each day. Christian authors, podcasters, etc. can be great, but only the scripture is the actual revealed truth of God. Don’t sacrifice time “in the Word” for someone talking “about the Word”.
- To Stay Healthy – The image of a tree growing and producing fruit is used many times in scripture to describe the person following God’s instructions. Paul described the workings of the Holy Spirit in us as “fruit” in Galatians 4:22-23. The most important part of a tree is the hidden root system below the surface. Our roots must sink deep and be connected to the source of living water-Christ. Conversely, if roots are shallow, then there can be stunted growth, disease, or easy destruction by a strong wind.
- To Keep Wins/Loses in Perspective – If we’re not careful, the cultural battle can drift into terms of wins and losses. This Psalm helps me remember that God will ultimately “put things right”. There will be a day when God’s sovereignty will be on full powerful display, but it should motivate me to share, not be a reason for smugness. Yes, we should always speak truth, but in a prayerful way (Colossians 4:2-6). Bible passages aren’t bullets for a holy six-gun, but life giving seeds for new trees.
Remember, the race is set before us (Heb. 12:1-2), run it with confidence!
Series: Psalms-Lesson 1